By Capt. Carrie Kessler
688th Information Operations Wing
HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- Two of Air Force Space Command's newest units
were named the best in cyberspace operations May 17.
The 39th Information Operations Squadron here, one of six IO squadrons
in the 688th Information Operations Wing, was honored as AFSPC's Best
Information Operations Squadron for 2009. The squadron's parent wing
located at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, was also awarded the honor of
Outstanding Wing with a Cyberspace Mission for 2009 for its exceptional
meritorious service across the spectrum of cyber operations.
"This is a very proud moment for the 688th," said Col. Robert Skinner,
688 IOW commander. "Since our activation in 2009, we've been on
afterburners standing up the wing, accomplishing the mission, and taking
care of our people."
As the Air Force's sole cyber and IO formal training unit, the 39th IOS
launched a 12-phase, 74-lesson online cyber training course and resolved
a Headquarters Air Force top training priority for 3,500 Airmen
transitioning from communications career fields into cyber career
"It's about helping Airmen throughout 24th Air Force increase their
skill at employing effective cyber power in every operation," said Lt.
Col. Dean Clothier, 39 IOS commander. "Defense of the nation's networks
is a core focus of our instruction and through our courses we build
those skills necessary for all Air Force cyber professionals."
Additionally, the squadron graduated 458 cyber and information
operations students, equipped to integrate effects-based planning within
Air and Space Operations Centers worldwide.
"The integration of cyber warfare into operations is essential and vital
to the future of the U.S. military," said Staff Sgt. Ty Lantta, 39 IOS
IO instructor. "While cyber warfare is capable of operating on its own,
only when it is combined with the other capabilities will the true
benefits of cyber operations be realized."
Colonel Skinner noted that the wing's impact reaches beyond the scope of
Air Force systems.
"Our dedication to cyber operations is essential to not only the Air
Force network, but to the warfigher down range," said the colonel. "Day
in and day out, we focus on supporting military operations across the
spectrum of conflict."
The wing has no plans to rest on the successes of 2009 as it looks
forward to "driving the art of the possible" in 2010.
"We've set a high bar of excellence and look forward to continued
improvement as we drive mission assurance and take care of our people,"
said Colonel Skinner. "As we mature the wing and build on our momentum,
we will focus on efficiency, standards and tackling the hard issues."
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